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Sorry, Steve Young. Lightning CAN go sideways.

Football fans turned on their TVs and tuned to ESPN to watch the Los Angeles Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders play on Monday Night Football, but the game was delayed by 35 minutes with lightning in the area.

The delay caused an uproar on social media as many people incorrectly assumed the Chargers’ SoFi Stadium was a dome and safe from lightning. The stadium is classified as open-air due to the north side being open on the upper deck.

The confusion led to ESPN broadcaster and former quarterback Steve Young asserting that “lightning can’t go sideways.” This isn’t true!

The most notable example of lightning going sideways is a phenomenon called the “bolt from the blue.”

It’s possible for lightning to strike as far as ten to twelve miles away from the actual storm. We have an easy way for you to calculate how far away a storm is.

Sound travels faster than light, so listen for thunder first. Count how many seconds until you see the lightning, then divide by five to calculate how many miles away it is. For example, if you hear thunder then see lightning ten seconds later, that means the storm is two miles away!

"Bolt from the blue" explainer

“Bolt from the blue” explainer

We know most of you are not going to ESPN for their meteorological knowledge, so stick with 10 News and Your Local Weather Authority for the forecast every day!


Source: WSLS News 10

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